You know when you are watching a movie and one of the exacerbated characters says “What else could possibly go wrong?” and you roll your eyes because you know that one should never tempt the fates and state such things out loud. Hello, my name is the exacerbated character.
It all started with Rosie passing away. She was out grazing and hopping along in the morning like always. When I checked on her in the afternoon, she was gone-laying peacefully in the grass in the warm sunshine. I didn’t see any signs of trauma, which I was so thankful for. Little did I know this was an omen for progressively worse events to come.
Neil had complained of a sore throat and chills last week. I told him to lay down, get some rest and take some extra vitamins. As a traveler, I don’t get sick days, so I have to be at work no matter what. I am not much of a caller outer anyway and have worked in much worse condition than patients I was taking care of!
I quarantined Neil to our room to contain the germs and slept on the couch. The next night at work Neil stated he felt worse and wasn’t able to eat or drink anything. I told him to take a warm bath to settle his belly and I would be home soon. I came home to find Neil pale and sweaty on the bathroom floor. I fixed him up with a few perks of being with an ER nurse and went outside to check the critters.
As I went into the Chicken Palace, Raffi was being very quiet. He had been upset about Rosie passing away, so I picked him up to give him a little extra love. When I did, I caught that unmistakable scent of infection. I moved his cloud of fur and saw a wound on his back. I laid him on my lap and as I assessed the wound, a large insect like face stuck its head out of the wound and looked straight at me.
I have seen a lot of crazy things in my day, but that caught me off guard. I immediately called the vet and stated we were on the way. I ran inside to tell Neil I would be back soon, who incoherently mumbled a response. As I walked out of the house with a rotten Raffi in my arms, I looked around and loudly stated “what else could go wrong?!” And thus apparently sealed my fate.
The vet got Raffi and I back immediately and informed me Raffi had a warble-a bot fly larvae living inside his skin. These parasitic flies lay their eggs inside skin and as the eggs develop eat the surrounding flesh. They can infect different animals and humans. Have a strong stomach? Check out this YouTube video HERE.
Raffi and I returned home, warble larvae free, and I tended to Neil over the next two days. He had been sick now for several days and kept getting worse, he hadn’t eaten in days and couldn’t get out of bed. I got him to urgent care, and they sent us to the emergency room.
Neil was admitted to the hospital and continued to be super sick for days. Staying by his side non stop, worried sick and trying to manage everything at home was exhausting. I was literally so fatigued my vision was blurry-I was completely emotionally and physically drained.
On one of my runs home to tend to the animals, I pulled up to the house in tears. I had been gone almost 14 hours and knew the animals were long overdue for some attention. Oliver was sleeping on his porch and when he saw it was me pulling up, he jumped out of bed and spun in circles, kicking up his heels in absolute joy. It was so funny and unexpected I laughed out loud through my tears.
Finally after several days in the hospital, Neil began to turn around.
He is now at home resting and getting stronger every day. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the calls, visits, texts and Facebook support-it was much needed. A special thank you to my parents who came up to the hospital and made sure Neil was ok and I was too.
So, what might you ask did this redhead learn from all this? Don’t ever, ever, ever say “What else could go wrong?!”
Until next time…